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Secretary-General Annan's First Visit to Georgia

Secretary-General, In First Visit to Georgia, Meets Senior Officials

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi today, where he held talks with the president and reiterated his call for an end to the conflict between the Government and Abkhaz separatists.

"We will sustain our efforts and work with the parties and other friendly countries in search of the solution," Mr. Annan told reporters following his meeting with President Mikheil Saakashvili.

"In the meantime, it is important that all sides respect the rule of law and respect human rights and the dignity of individuals, because without the development for the rule of law and respect for the rule of law, it is difficult to settle these problems in the longer term."

Peacekeepers serving with the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) have been deployed to the country since 1993 to monitor peace agreements between the Government and Abkhaz sides.

The Secretary-General also said he had discussed Georgia's development with the president "and I must say I am impressed with what you have done in a relatively short period."

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